Bexley antirush policy unfair to MIT studentsOnly eleven freshmen want to live in one of the most attractive dormitories on our campus. Why is this? The question is especially bothersome when that dorm has 32 uncrowded spaces and no crowded rooms, while dorms like Baker and Burton, two of the most popular dorms on campus, offer mostly crowded rooms. It may come as a surprise to most freshmen that Bexley Hall has large rooms, with fireplaces, kitchens, and soundproof walls.
Why then did so few freshmen choose Bexley as their first choice for a place to live? Why is it that freshmen who are assigned to Bexley repeatedly put themselves into Limbo? Why must freshmen who are assigned to Bexley against their will be distraught at the prospect of living there? Perhaps it is their treatment of strangers. During the summer some friends and I went to visit someone who had been staying at Bexley for the summer. We were greeted by two residents of the dorm with: "What are they doing here?", followed by a primal scream that would have frightened Tarzan.
Or perhaps it has something to do with their house tours. Freshmen were shown a closet and told: "This is the kind of room a freshman might get." Maybe it was the barbed wire across the dorm's courtyard, along with a guard booth, that made freshman shy away from Bexley.
Whatever the cause of Bexley's unpopularity, it is obvious that a group of students have gotten together and chased away anyone who doesn't agree exactly with their ideas of what a dorm should be like. Weeding people out may be fine for a frat, but not for a dorm. A dormitory belongs to MIT, and its expenses are shared by all residents of the dormitory system. A dorm must be accessible and appealing to all MIT students.
The lack of interest in Bexley bothers me even more because the rooms in Bexley that I have seen are really nice. The dorm is located right next to the Institute, and is closer to Central Square, Kendall Square, and Boston than any of the other West Campus dorms.
MIT should treat Bexley the way the people who live there seem to want it to be treated -- as a fraternity. Don't force any freshman in there this year or next. This way, the present residents of Bexley will be able to do whatever they want with their building. But as with any frat, they will have to raise the money to pay their utility bills, and to either buy the building from MIT or pay rent.
If only half, or three-quarters, of Bexley Hall is rented, the rest of the space could be rented to another fraternity, or even a sorority. MIT has told Alpha Phi it would build a residence for it sooner or later. By converting Bexley, MIT would not have to build a new building, and Alpha Phi would not have to move off campus.
It is too bad that a dormitory with as much potential to be a nice place to live as Bexley should be lost as a dorm. But for most students, Bexley Hall is no longer a possible choice as a living group.
With the amount of crowding in the Institute this year, as well as a 150 people having to be put in Limbo at first, it is ridiculous that the residents of one dorm consider themselves to be so special that they can chase freshmen away.